The 2018 Massachusetts primary election is around the corner. Are you ready to head to the polls on Tuesday, Sept. 4?
What you see on your Massachusetts primary election ballot that day will depend on which party you are currently registered with, and your choices will shape the November election. So here’s what you need to know, and some things to double check, before you cast your votes.
Am I registered to vote in Massachusetts? Where do I vote?
In order to vote in the 2018 primary elections in Massachusetts, you had to be registered to vote by Aug. 15. Check your voter registration and which party you’ll be able to cast a primary ballot for online at sec.state.ma.us/VoterRegistrationSearch/MyVoterRegStatus.aspx.
To find your primary election polling place, head to wheredoivotema.com to enter in your address. Polls must be open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., according to the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office, but towns may choose to open their polls as early as 5:45 Tuesday morning.
This election covers candidates for senators and representatives in Congress, and which candidates you see on your ballot will depend on where you live. To see a breakdown of the Massachusetts Congressional districts and find which one you reside in, check out this map here.
2018 Massachusetts primary election: Democratic Ballot
If you’re a registered Democrat, here’s what you’ll see on your primary election ballot.
Governor: Democrats need to narrow down the choice for Gov. Charlie Baker’s November challenger between two options—Jay Gonzalez, formerly Massachusetts Secretary of Administration and Finance under Gov. Deval Patrick, and activist Bob Massie.
Lieutenant Governor: This position is second-in-command and serves as acting governor is the governor dies or is absent from the state. Two Democratic candidates are vying to challenge incumbent Republican Karyn Polito: Quentin Palfrey, a lawyer who previously worked for the Obama administration, and comedian Jimmy Tingle.
Secretary of State: Secretary of State William Galvin, a Democrat who has held the position since 1995, is being challenged in the Massachusetts primary election by Boston City Councilor Josh Zakim. The primary winner will then face off against a Republican challenger Anthony Amore, director of security at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, who does not have a primary challenger on the Republican ballot.
Representative in Congress: Not every candidate has a challenger in this section, but here are the districts for which residents will have to vote in the 2018 Massachusetts primary election.
Richard Neal (incumbent)
(Current Representative for this district, Niki Tsongas, is not running for another term)
Joseph Kennedy II (incumbent)
Mike Capuano (incumbent)
Stephen Lynch (incumbent)
Bill Keating (incumbent)
U.S Sen. Elizabeth Warren is running for her second six-year term, but isn’t facing a Democratic challenger (though three Republican challengers are battling it out in the primaries to face her come November). Attorney General Maura Healey is also running for her second four-year-term and is not facing any Democrats in the 2018 primary election, but will be challenged by a Republican in November. For more on the Massachusetts primary election Democratic ballot, including candidates running for the state Senate and House of Representatives, click here.
2018 Massachusetts primary election: Republican Ballot
Senate in Congress: Three Republicans are in the primaries vying to face Elizabeth Warren for her seat in the November election. They are state Rep. Geoff Diehl, Beth Lindstrom (a former Mitt Romney aide) and attorney and businessman John Kingston.
Governor: Incumbent Gov. Charlie Baker is seeking his second four-year term and is facing a Republican challenger in Scott Lively, a pastor and lawyer who says he is “100 percent pro-life . . . 100 percent for the Second Amendment . . . 100 percent for Trump.”
Attorney General: Two Republican candidates are hoping to face Maura Healey in November — James R. McMahon and Daniel L. Shores.
Representative in Congress: Not every candidate has a challenger in this section, but here are the districts for which residents will have to vote in the Massachusetts primary election.
Tracy Lyn Lovvorn
Kevin William Powers
(To face Incumbent Rep. James McGovern in November)
(To face Incumbent Rep. Katherine Clark in November)
The First, Fourth, Seventh and Eighth districts do not have any Republican candidates nominated in the 2018 primary election, meaning the Democratic candidates who win their primary elections for those seats will go unchallenged in the November general election.
For more details on the Republican ballot for the 2018 Massachusetts primary election, including candidates running for the state Senate and House of Representatives, click here.
State primaries and absentee ballots
If you won’t be able to head to the polls in person for the primary election in Massachusetts, you can request an absentee ballot. The deadline to request a ballot is 5 p.m. this Friday, Aug. 31. Absentee ballot applications are typically due by noon the day before an election, but since the day before the state primaries this year is Labor Day, a holiday, that deadline then moves to 5 p.m. on the business day before the election, Secretary Galvin’s office explains.
Absentee ballots must be returned to your city or town hall by 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 4 and can be voted in that office, returned by mail or hand-delivered by the person voting or a member of their family.